Amy Bejsovec

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 
Rm. 4312 French Family Science Center, Dept. of Biology, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Dept. of Biology, Durham, NC 27708-0338
Phone: 
(919) 613-8162
My laboratory explores the molecular mechanisms of pattern formation in developing embryos. We focus on the Wingless(Wg)/Wnt class of secreted growth factor: these molecules promote cell-cell communication leading to important cell fate decisions during the development of both vertebrate and invertebrate embryos. In addition, this highly conserved pathway is essential for maintaining stem cell populations and is associated with human cancers when inappropriately activated in adult tissues. Wg/Wnt molecules have proven difficult to work with biochemically because they associate tightly with cell membranes. Therefore, we exploit the powerful genetic and molecular techniques available in Drosophila to approach basic questions about Wg/Wnt signal transduction. Current work in the lab includes analysis of genes discovered as suppressors or enhancers of wg mutant phenotypes, which may identify new control mechanisms for the pathway. In earlier work, we found that the Wg-activated transcription factor, dTCF, can act as either a repressor or an activator of Wg target genes, and our screens have uncovered other factors that may influence this genetic switch. We have also characterized a Drosophila homolog of the human tumor suppressor, APC, which negatively regulates the Wg/Wnt signaling pathway, and we are currently studying other genes that show similar properties. We use cultured human cells to determine whether gene activities we have discovered and characterized in the fly embryo are relevant to the mammalian Wnt pathway as well.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison 1988

  • M.S., University of Wisconsin at Madison 1985

  • B.S., Cornell University 1982

Moline, MM, Southern, C, and Bejsovec, A. "Directionality of wingless protein transport influences epidermal patterning in the Drosophila embryo." Development 126, no. 19 (October 1999): 4375-4384.

Bejsovec, A. "Wnt signalling shows its versatility." Curr Biol 9, no. 18 (September 23, 1999): R684-R687. (Review)

McCartney, BM, Dierick, HA, Kirkpatrick, C, Moline, MM, Baas, A, Peifer, M, and Bejsovec, A. "Drosophila APC2 is a cytoskeletally-associated protein that regulates wingless signaling in the embryonic epidermis." J Cell Biol 146, no. 6 (September 20, 1999): 1303-1318.

Bejsovec, A. "Signal transduction: Wnt signalling shows its versatility." Current Biology 9, no. 18 (1999): R684-R687. Full Text

Dierick, H, and Bejsovec, A. "Cellular mechanisms of wingless/Wnt signal transduction." Curr Top Dev Biol 43 (1999): 153-190. (Review)

Dierick, HA, and Bejsovec, A. "Functional analysis of Wingless reveals a link between intercellular ligand transport and dorsal-cell-specific signaling." Development 125, no. 23 (December 1998): 4729-4738.

Cavallo, RA, Cox, RT, Moline, MM, Roose, J, Polevoy, GA, Clevers, H, Peifer, M, and Bejsovec, A. "Drosophila Tcf and Groucho interact to repress Wingless signalling activity." Nature 395, no. 6702 (October 8, 1998): 604-608. Full Text

Hays, R, Gibori, GB, and Bejsovec, A. "Wingless signaling generates pattern through two distinct mechanisms." Development 124, no. 19 (October 1997): 3727-3736.

Pai, LM, Orsulic, S, Bejsovec, A, and Peifer, M. "Negative regulation of Armadillo, a Wingless effector in Drosophila." Development 124, no. 11 (June 1997): 2255-2266.

van de Wetering, M, Cavallo, R, Dooijes, D, van Beest, M, van Es, J, Loureiro, J, Ypma, A, Hursh, D, Jones, T, Bejsovec, A, Peifer, M, Mortin, M, and Clevers, H. "Armadillo coactivates transcription driven by the product of the Drosophila segment polarity gene dTCF." Cell 88, no. 6 (March 21, 1997): 789-799.

Pages